The Lethal Dangers of Body Piercing
The history of body modification is full of casualties. As long as the practice has existed, there has been piercing injury, accidents, even deaths. In ancient societies with little understanding of bacteria, tribal people often died through a piercing infection. Today, although deaths are much rarer, piercing injury remains a big problem. A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that almost 30% of new piercings ended up needing some form of medical attention because of complication. Some piercing accidents are acute, and require emergency hospital treatment. Learn the dangers to keep yourself safe.
Nerve Damage by Body Piercing Equipment
Studios offering piercings need to meet safety standards and have extensive training before they are allowed to pierce members of the public. For body piercers, this usually involves studying human anatomy, and the potential risks of body modification. Even the best, most dedicated piercer will make mistakes. Being overtired, stressed, hangover, or distracted can happen to anyone, but on an off day, a piercer can do serious damage. A needle that ‘misses the target’ and hits a nerve can cause paralysis, numbness and chronic pain. For people’ self esteem and future prospects, the consequences can be devastating.
Keloids after Body Piercing
Put simply, a keloid is an area of severe scarring (usually raised) that occurs when the body rejects a piercing or reacts badly to the puncture wound. Keloids can be small, but some can be sizable enough to result in severe disfiguration. For people wanting a piercing to enhance their beauty, keloids should be considered as a potential risk. For piercings on the lower body, Keloids could be covered – but keloids on the face can have long term negative effects on someone’s self esteem and career prospects.
Contaminated Piercing Equipment
Dirty needles or soiled piercing guns that have been used on previous clients (even if it’s a member of your family) are against the law. Cross contamination is rare, but it is a lethal danger of body piercing. Hepatitis and HIV are both transmitted through bodily fluids – particularly blood. Therefore, every body piercing should be done with a fresh needle that is clearly removed from a sealed packet. Don’t accept anything less.
Allergic Reaction to Body Piercing
Allergic reactions are a common problem for people with new piercings. The kind of metal body jewellery varies from studio to studio. That means even people who are heavily pierced can experience an allergic reaction when coming into contact with a new metal.
Most people don’t realise that they are allergic until their piercing becomes inflamed and irritated. The majority of allergic reactions are uncomfortable, and can lead to the body rejecting of the piercing. Some allergic reactions are more extreme. Swelling, breathing difficulties and toxic shock can be caused by allergic reaction to body piercing, and could be fatal.
Infection is the most common complication following a body piercing. Piercings may be beautiful, but in their first few months they are also open wounds that need to be treated with respect. Touching a piercing with dirty hands, failing to let it breathe and not washing it frequently can all result in a seriously infected piercing.
If not treated immediately, then an infection can rapidly spread, leading to blood poisoning, even death. Teenage ‘rebels’ who have got their piercings illegally or without consent are most at risk. Their efforts to hide their piercing often prevent it breathing, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Sometimes the infection can worsen to such an extent people only realise the problem when the teenager collapses.
A badly aimed needle or piercing gun injury can endanger the nerves in your body, or puncture a major blood vessel or artery. When this happens, it often leads to severe bleeding that needs emergency medical treatment to heal the wound.
Artery Puncture is a particular risk for oral piercings on the tongue or in the lips. These are areas of the body packed with veins, and is harder to keep still during the piercing which can lead to injuries.